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Edwin and Walter Hawkins, Sandi Patty and the Winans to be honored at June 18 event in Washington, D.C.
GRAMMY-winning artists Edwin and Walter Hawkins, five-time GRAMMY winner Sandi Patty, and five-time GRAMMY-winning group the Winans, will be recipients of The Recording Academy's President's Merit Award at the 2008 GRAMMY Salute To Gospel Music event on June 18 in Washington, D.C.
In continuing with its tradition of honoring artistic excellence, The Recording Academy will spotlight the genre by celebrating members of the gospel community during the event, which will include performances from gospel, contemporary Christian and contemporary artists under the music direction of GRAMMY-winning producer Donald Lawrence.
"As we continue with our 50th Celebration and our tradition of honoring diversity in music, we bring the GRAMMY Salute To Gospel Music back to our capital city," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This event is a true celebration of gospel music, bringing luminaries together for an inspiring concert while recognizing the cultural impact of this genre. We are delighted to pay tribute to such dynamic artists and their influential music."
The President's Merit Award recognizes the contributions that key individuals have made in the music industry and the impact their efforts have had on music and the business of music. The award is an opportunity for The Recording Academy to acknowledge and honor the contributions of these outstanding individuals.
Brothers Edwin and Walter Hawkins are two of gospel music's most successful artists. These gospel pioneers continue to support, drive and offer platforms for gospel artists everywhere. Together they have co-produced and served as musical directors and arrangers for multiple GRAMMY-winning albums. Their hit "Oh Happy Day," performed by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, became one of the first gospel songs to cross over onto mainstream charts and earn international success.
Known as "the Voice," Sandi Patty is a celebrated artist and author. One of the most revered artists in the history of the Gospel Music Association, Patty has won five GRAMMY Awards and is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She has released 24 albums over the last 26 years.
A contemporary Christian music group formed by four brothers — Carvin, Marvin, Michael, and Ronald from the notable Winans family — the Winans are a five-time GRAMMY-winning group. Hailing from Detroit, they were pioneers in the field of contemporary gospel, updating the sound and style of traditional black gospel vocal groups for the modern urban age.
The GRAMMY Salute To Gospel Music event began in 2004 during GRAMMY Week to honor those who have made significant contributions to gospel music, while supporting the history and cultural impact of the genre. Past honorees include Shirley Caesar, the Clark Sisters, Andraé Crouch, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Bill Hearn, Billy Ray Hearn, Dr. Bobby Jones, Richard Smallwood, Michael W. Smith and Albertina Walker.